The Dude, A Camera, & A Canvas

I’ve always said to Mrs. Dude that “anyone can be a photographer.” Since before the Mrs. picked up a camera and started her amazing photog career, I claimed digital cameras and Photoshop threw open the doors to any yahoo that wanted to claim their title as “professional photographer.”

An endless supply of mediocre photographers littering the interwebs tells me I’m right.

On the other hand, thousands of dollars in equipment, endless hours honing ridiculous technical skills, and an artistic eye that no money or time can buy tell me the Dude is dead wrong.

Mrs. Dude, you are truly rad!

So, I straddle the fence with my own photog skills. Am I just one of the masses with the luxury of a digital camera in hand? Or does the Dude have an eye money can’t buy?

On the fence?! Nah! I’m super rad…when Mrs. Dude is there to tell me what to do and edit my shots. 🙂

Last night we gathered up the Dude clan for a quick run to the beach so I could capture Mrs. Dude’s baby belly in the perfect light a sunset throws on the dunes at dusk.

The way I look at it, we only need one great shot to make the trip a success.

The Mrs. showed me a few pics, and I must say…I nailed it! With complete direction, of course. But now Mrs. D says we aren’t posting any yet!

Wha, wha, what?! The world deserves – no NEEDS – to see the Dude’s phtog skills.

Wait?! I think not.

Little Hands, Big Belly

Little Hands, Big Belly

Awesome, right?

Honestly, I’m so biased that I have no clue if it’s any good – my wife, my kids, my baby belly, and my shot. How could I not think it’s amazing?

But what I do know is that we need this hanging in our room for inspiration leading up to the big event a short two months away. A gorgeous canvas as a daily reminder of where we’re headed and why we’re going in that direction. I love it.

Luckily, I just scored some great canvas prints from, so I know where to get this jobby job taken care of.

The PrintCopia canvases are the shiz – heavy-duty,  well made, great picture quality…an all-around gorgeous print. Check out the rad shots of Little Dude flying we just hung up…

Little Dude Flying Canvas

Little Dude Flying Canvas

Hook it up if you have some great pics (or hire the Dude…I hear I’m a rad photographer).

By the way, PrintCopia also has car magnets, custom banners, & signs.

However, I will mention one tiny detail…

I have Mrs. Dude convinced I’m a “doer.” I’m up early gettin’ at it – whatever “it” may be, and I love to say that “I got stuff done” today. As I get older, the jobs keep piling up, so I guess I just keep on truckin’.

But the reality is that I’m pretty lazy at heart. My yearbook quote in high school was,

“I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things,” by Lech Walesa.

And I’m sticking to it.

I love to get ‘er done, but sometimes the laziness wins out, and this is one of those times.

The canvases from PrintCopia are gorgeous and of high quality, but I’m a bit dismayed to report that one of two canvases (i.e. 50%) arrived with a blemish right in the center of the picture. Nothing a little white paint can’t fix, but a factual review is a factual review. I submit to you evidence numero uno…

However, overall, these are fantastic canvas prints, and a trip to the post office to send it back just seems like a lot of work, so the Dude’s laziness has won out. We’ll make it work.

With that said, if PrintCopia wants to send a canvas of the Dude’s awesome photog skills displayed above to make up for the blemish, I’m happy to report to the masses of the great customer service. Wink, wink. Nod, nod. 😉

In the end, the lessons contained herein are…

  1. Hire Mrs. Dude for your pictures. The Dude is all talk and takes all necessary direction from the true brains in this relationship – i.e. the Mrs.
  2. Buy a canvas print for your home – your Mrs. will thank you…FYI – Christmas is right around the corner!

Hard to Say Goodbye

Winter Beard - Final

Winter Beard - Final

After four and a half months, it was time to part ways. We made it through a lot together, but it had to end at some point.

When we flipped the seasonal script to Spring a couple weeks ago, the winter beard came off. It’s tough to destroy a creation I worked on for so long, but it’s kind of liberating. That thing was a beast.

It was the biggest beard I’ve had, and it was pretty sweet, but the Dude is ready for some spring.  I’m ready for warm days, veggies growing in the garden, and surf with something lighter than a lead suit.

Luckily Mrs. Dude surprised me with a great photo session to memorialize Winter Beard 2011. Don’t worry my Dad has a beard…awesome!

But before we sign off, take it away Boyz II Men…

Pixels: I Do Declare!

In honor of Mrs. Dude’s southern roots, I figured I’d spice up the blog with a little “southern speak.” Although, considering the majority of my “southern speak” comes from The Princess’ DVD of old My Little Pony episodes, please forgive me if I misuse any phrases.  I “might could” make a mistake here and there.

As I did who knows what in the other room, Mrs. Dude snapped this picture. What could warm the Dude’s heart more than my boys looking for Daddy?!

“I do declare!”

I do declare!

I do declare!

Pixels: Happy New Year



Just like many other New Years Eve celebrations, the Dude house rang in 2011 with copious amounts of vomit. Unfortunately, we didn’t enjoy any of the benefits of overindulgence that usually accompany New Years revelry.

The Dude and The Princess rang in the New Year with our heads in the toilet thanks to a tummy bug that stowed away in our luggage from The Lady in a Shoe’s house.  Mrs. Shoe’s house not only incubates chaos, but also germs.  As a result, Casa de Dude resembled, and smelled like, a frat house as the ball dropped.

Thankfully, Mrs. Dude and Little Dude have escaped the bug so far.  And a big thanks goes out to the Mrs. for working into the wee hours of the morning taking care of the sickies (and the infant).

Thanks again for a great visit Lady in a Shoe.  However, in the future, please make sure your germs pass through customs before following us home.

The good news is that starting from the toilet, 2011 has no where to go but up.  Here’s to a great 2011!

Pixels: Full Moon

We just returned from a quick visit to the Lady in the Shoe’s house for a belated Xmas celebration.  As always it was a great visit…and chaotic.

This picture was taken during the middle of the gift bonanza, and I think it is a pretty fitting snapshot of the chaos that is the Lady in the Shoe’s world.

The crazy part is this mooning episode was unnoticed by everyone.  We didn’t see it until we looked at the pictures.  I can’t tell if that’s because it was so chaotic or subconsciously we all expect these events and block them out as they pass by.

Either way, it’s pretty darn funny.

Thanks for a great visit Lady in the Shoe.

Full Moon

Full Moon

Pixels: You Don’t Scare Me

Santa is a rad dude.  He gives kids great reminders about the meaning of Christmas.  Sure there’s some bribery involved, but the message is clear; be a good person and life will reward you.  Santa also offers kids a great opportunity to enlist their imagination, a tool that improves with practice.

Overall, Santa gets a big Dude thumbs up, but Santa can also be pretty intimidating.  A large dude with a deep voice, giant beard, and bright red outfit.  That’s a lot to take in for little ones.

I can certainly understand some apprehensiveness, but judging by this picture, it’s safe say Little Dude feels pretty comfortable in the giant gift-giver’s paws.

You Don't Scare Me

You Don't Scare Me

* Dude’s Note:  The Daily Pixels have been a bit less than daily, so we’ll switch to “Pixels” until we can live up to the “Daily” moniker.

Daily Pixels: Graffiti

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

Based on the legal status of graffiti, I’d venture to say the general public is not a fan.

I’ll admit that there’s a large percentage of graffiti that’s unsightly, but on the whole, the Dude and the Mrs. fall into the fan category.

It’s great to see a landscape broken by an unexpected burst of art.  I dig a colorful explosion, even if it’s illegible like many graffiti pieces.  But the Dude has a soft-spot for a little vandalism with a twist of social commentary, like Banksy.

Banksy - Flowers for the Princess?

Banksy - Flowers for the Princess?

Banksy - TSA?

Banksy - TSA?

However, I’ve never been on the receiving end of graffiti…until yesterday.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Rex and I spent 12+ hours building a new set of front stairs.  Back breaking work.

And yesterday, these new stairs were vandalized!

But if it’s great art, with a great message, should the graffiti be considered a gift?

The next Banksy?

Next Banksy?